Women’s WorldTour powerhouse team Boels-Dolmans has added former mountain bike world champion Annika Langvad to their roster for the 2019 season. The 34-year-old Danish veteran moves over from the Specialized Racing team, adding to the squad’s depth and versatility to compete across the entire cycling calendar. Langvad was world XCO mountain bike champion in 2016.
Langvad had a very strong 2018 season winning two rounds of the UCI World Cup at Stellenbosch and Nové Město na Moravě on her way to earning silver in the overall standings. At the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, Landvad won a silver medal ahead of Emily Batty and behind her Specialized teammate Kate Courtney.
With Boels-Dolmans, she is expected to continue her focus on mountain biking but also compete in numerous road races. Langvad was Danish national time trial champion in 2013, 2011 and in 2010 she was both road and ITT champion of Denmark. Her versatility extends into longer races as evidenced by her four marathon mountain bike world championship titles.
“When I was presented with the chance to do some races with Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team next year, I was really excited,” Langvad said. “I’ve been following the women’s road racing scene for quite a while and just love to see all that is happening.”
Langvad closed out her 2018 season competing in the elite women’s road race at the Innsbruck world championships back in September.
“For me it’s not so much a question of being defined as a mountain biker or a road cyclist. I tend to think of myself as a cyclist competing mainly in mountain biking, but I have had a flirt with the road racing scene before,” she said.
Boels-Dolmans is coming off another extremely successful season winning 13 Women’s WorldTour races. Anna van der Breggen is perhaps the undisputed team leader in many of the calendars biggest races and won the world championship rainbow stripes in Innsbruck.
Langvad is excited about the prospect of racing for the well-rounded squad that includes Canadian Karol-Ann Canuel.
“In comparison to mountain biking where I race as an individual – or on a few occasions as a duo – the road is all about teamwork. That is very appealing to me. It’s a dimension that immediately had me thinking “yes!” when presented with the idea of joining the team.”
Langvad has been cagey about explicitly saying she is targetting the 2020 Olympics but as the pinnacle of every four-year cycle in sport it would be surprised to not see her line-up in Tokyo be that in mountain biking where she’d be a real medal contender or in the road race.
“My personal ambition with this adventure is to get an understanding for and to contribute to successful teamwork,” she explained. “That is what I look forward to the most. I get genuinely excited when I think about being part of something more than just ‘me racing’. That enthusiasm and process is something I hope to take with me back to the mountain bike races. And of course – if I can contribute to the team winning, it’ll be a big personal bonus for me.”